Wallace can't own team, commentate on races

Updated: July 24, 2007, 9:30 AM ET
By Marty Smith | ESPN.com

Rusty Wallace announced last week he will expand his NASCAR Busch Series operation to two teams in 2008. But what about Sprint Cup?

Wallace said Monday he would like to field Sprint Cup Series teams. However, his contract with ESPN/ABC forbids that, given the conflict of interest involved in commenting races in which teams he owns compete.

So he is contemplating the future sale of a majority stake in Rusty Wallace, Inc., he told ESPN.com Monday.

"Selling off a majority stake of the race team would allow me to focus more on my television career, and still ensure the race team's still in proper hands," Wallace said. "I'd like to be minority owner.

"I've established a great organization and want make sure it stays that way. A majority sale is something I'll look at in the future."

Wallace said the move wouldn't happen until 2009 at the earliest, and added that some current sponsors are among the interested parties in acquiring majority ownership.

Wallace's son, Steven, will drive one Busch Series car in 2008 and the other machine will be split between young Chase Austin, who will run non-companion events, and a Cup Series veteran, who is yet to be determined.

Marty Smith covers Nextel Cup racing for ESPN.com.